At twenty two, people had written poems, lead revolutions, bled for love, fought for country, worked for NASA, found new medicines for incurable diseases or simply roll on bed snoring, their life off in a blissful bubble like me. I turned twenty two, yes it seems strange to accept that I am far from my teen years, but I did, do I look older, refined and appealing to the opposite sex or the same sex? No! To them I appear a short girl jumping in ripped trousers here and there with nerd glasses on. Before I turned twenty two I took a self challenge- To Complete the Fictions of Haruki Murakami translated in English.
Here is a part from the long self interview.
I had a dream or maybe I was in a place where all my personalities meet and talk, a parallel universe. In this place the Twenty-two years old me, was being questioned by the Blogger Me. The two selves of mine were seated in a big room, the interviewer was wearing t-shirt, green harem trousers, boots and cat framed glasses and her hair was in a messed up bun, other interviewee self was wearing a blue jumpsuit, framed glasses and her hair replicated Medusa’s snakes. This is the attempt to recall what I had eavesdropped.
Blogger Aries-What made you challenge yourself with the task of finishing the Translated Fictions of Haruki Murakami? (Can see her interviewee is nervous and scratching her uncombed hair)
Twenty-two Aries- Well, how do I put it? My life has been a very normal one you see. Nothing much happened except my sister throwing me in life threatening situations. I had a pretty simple action less life. It’s at one particular moment two years back that my sir (smiles unintentionally at mention of the person) made me get a copy of 1Q84. I was tricked into believing its science-fiction but it was surrealist piece with alternate universe, it was a writer whom I had read before but I forgot his name. My sir knew my obsession with Japan, its culture, manga and J-pop lured me. Here I am now, who found something much better then. 1Q84 made me fall in love with Murakami’s style. So two years later I was four books away from the claiming the glorious idea and self satisfaction of having read everything by Murakami. I wanted to turn twenty two with all his scattered wisdom.
Blogger Aries- You said you wanted to turn twenty two with all his scattered wisdom? (Her interviewee nods furiously) What do you mean by scattered wisdom and what have you gained? We would like our readers to know them as well”
Twenty-two Aries- By scattered wisdom I meant you have to pick up from the writings, there are so many things mentioned in each book of his. The idea of double, doppelgangers and metamorphosis, sexuality, virility, impotency, it’s all there but one has to link pieces and learn their own lesson. I have gained that even if you are passive, un-harmful (interviewer observes her interviewee creating her own words to express) basically good person unusual things can happen to you out of the blue. These unusual actions will take the often nameless protagonists on a journey that will make them face the unconscious fears repressed in our dreams. You see it’s a chain reaction, every decision has a background and future it’s not singular but binary. I guess I can’t pick up any particular pearls of wisdom but I would say- Oedipal Fate, not the myth but the nature of fate is Oedipal. If you know the truth you may do more harm than being ignorant and vice versa.
Blogger Aries- Which book is your favourite of all the books and which do you recommend to beginners of Murakami and why do you pick that book?” (Interviewee is biting her lips in confusion)
Twenty-two Aries- I would say people should start with Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of The World, it’s not my favourite, I sure love it. But this book has the first spelled out parallel worlds, they are defined and the three layers of personalities are beautifully created here. This book will make understanding of Kafka on the Shore easy, that’s my favourite book. But reading the most riddled work at first will spoil the fun of Murakami. But I would recommend people to read whatever fancies their mind first.
Blogger Aries- Is it true you have read all books by Paulo Coelho and Ruskin Bond?” (Interviewee looks up with doe like eyes begging not be troubled further behind her Medusa fringes and thick glasses)
Twenty-two Aries- “No, Ruskin Bond, I haven’t. I have read all his novellas and many stories but I am far from reaching the end. Paulo Coelho, yes I have, I read all his books available in English, so I must have missed the non-translated ones. (Sighs in nervousness)
Blogger Aries- “Does it give you a special pride or moral boost to have read each and every work of these writers mentioned?”
Twenty-two Aries- At the beginning it did, there was a vanity working, the glorious self that had read everything written by so and so writer. But now it’s not, I had to be done with Murakami because he was becoming common. When I began two years back he was still not a marketed product in India. He was my author, but now everybody wants a slice of him. So you can call it selfish desire on my part. I had tasted Murakami’s short stories even before my sir tricked me with the novel. It’s just I had forgotten his name, but his story was ingrained in my head. So now if I read complete work of any writer it’s because I am selfish out of love and I want to know everything. But now I know that I know nothing like John Snow.
Blogger Aries- Tell us your favourite features of Murrakami’s writing.
Twenty-two Aries- I love Parallel Universe he presents, I love the metamorphosis of humans with animal names like Rat and Sheep man from Wild Sheep Chase, the Boy Named Crow from Kafka on the Shore, Noboru Wataya the Cat in Wind Up Bird Chronicle. Unexpected phone calls and letters! I love his images of dissolving human body into nothingness and making absolute consciousness break walls of reality. Cats play an important role and they vanish! Connections happen over Jazz Music. Use of mundane actions like cooking, cleaning, shaving or shopping in story or a sudden dry well or dark alley popping out or unexpected sexual encounters in dreams. Everything is so weird yet connected! I love it all!
Blogger Aries- Don’t you find reading books from same writer dulling at times? (offers the shadowy cup of green tea to interviewee)
Twenty-two Aries- No.(Takes the cup) Yes like Paulo Coelho Haruki Murakami has his flaws but there is no point of dullness reading same writer. Yes both writers repeat a lot, Murakami I feel is lazy with names and repeats actions and incidents in his stories still they are different. Yet they keep you engaged. I think purpose of a novel or story is to keep us engaged and pleasure us the best possible way.
Blogger Aries- Which book in your hand guided you to your twenty second year and why that particular book?”
Twenty-two Aries- Norwegian Wood, it’s simple reason, it’s the most widely read Murakami book. I read various articles about this book in particular, the articles said that the book is essentially different from other books in style, theme, structure and story. It deals with the story of Watanabe who turns adult twenty one year old, from his seventeen year old self during motion of the storyline and I was twenty one too until weeks back. The film version has Kenichi Matsumaya, my favourite Japanese actor as Watanabe it added fuel to my zeal. I had to keep this book for last as I had to compare it with other books. I think it was a right decision. (Smiles at her interviewer)
Blogger Aries- Will you change the Blog’s name to MuraAries now, after all paulOaries is inspired from Paulo Coelho and he was your favourtie writer then? (Interviewee is surprised)
Twenty-Two Aries- MuraAries sounds good, but I will pass, if keep changing blog’s name after every favourite writer I have to change it every month. And Paulo Coelho is still my favourite writer, there are more who have joined the place on the alter with him. (Smirks at the interviewer)
Blogger Aries- That means you plan to finish reading each and every piece other writers you fall in love with too?
Twenty-two Aries- Yes absolutely! I am firm I will.
Blogger Aries- Please tell your reader friends whom do you plan to read before our selves begin merging back into oneself and our parallel world vanishes until for night time and that shadow observing us from corner wakes up.
Twenty-two Aries- He is not a writer but Playwright, it’s the ultimate entertainer William Shakespeare.
Blogger Aries- I wish you all the best.
Twenty-two Aries- Thank you I need it
P,S- I am still Murakamied!
thanking you to bear with me